Washington: The key to marital bliss may be as simple as changing the topic to avoid arguments, a new study has found, says PTI.
While younger couples may resort to heated arguments to settle a disagreement, older ones are more likely to avoid conflict altogether by changing the topic, researchers found. The study by San Francisco State University followed 127 middle-aged and older long-term married couples across 13 years, checking in to see how they communicated about conflicts from housework to finances.
The researchers videotaped the couples’ 15-minute discussions, noting the types of communication they used when talking about contentious topics. Sarah Holley, SF State assistant professor of psychology who directs the University’s Relationships, Emotion and Health Lab, and colleagues wanted to see how the couples might change in their use of a common and destructive type of communication, the demand-withdraw pattern, as they aged. In the demand-withdraw pattern, one person in a relationship blames or pressures their partner for a change, while the partner tries to avoid discussion of the problem or passively withdraws from the interaction.